Overcoming Obstacles To Exercise
Even when you know that exercise will help you feel better, taking that first step is still easier said than done. Obstacles to exercising are very realparticularly when youre also struggling with a mental health issue.
Here are some common barriers and how you can get past them.
Feeling exhausted. When youre tired, depressed, or stressed, it seems that working out will just make you feel worse. But the truth is that physical activity is a powerful energizer. Studies show that regular exercise can dramatically reduce fatigue and increase your energy levels. If you are really feeling tired, promise yourself a quick, 5-minute walk. Chances are, once you get moving youll have more energy and be able to walk for longer.
Feeling overwhelmed. When youre stressed or depressed, the thought of adding another obligation to your busy daily schedule can seem overwhelming. Working out just doesnt seem practical. If you have children, finding childcare while you exercise can also be a big hurdle. However, if you begin thinking of physical activity as a priority , youll soon find ways to fit small amounts of exercise into even the busiest schedule.
Feeling hopeless. Even if youve never exercised before, you can still find ways to comfortably get active. Start slow with easy, low-impact activities a few minutes each day, such as walking or dancing.
Task Management Tips For Reducing Job Stress
Prioritize tasks. Tackle high-priority tasks first. If you have something particularly unpleasant to do, get it over with early. The rest of your day will be more pleasant as a result.
Break projects into small steps. If a large project seems overwhelming, focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once.
Delegate responsibility. You dont have to do it all yourself. Let go of the desire to control every little step. Youll be letting go of unnecessary stress in the process.
Be willing to compromise. Sometimes, if you and a co-worker or boss can both adjust your expectations a little, youll be able to find a happy middle ground that reduces the stress levels for everyone.
Helps You Get Better Sleep
Getting good sleep is yet another way to reduce stress. Lack of adequate sleep is one of the biggest causes of depression, low energy levels, and perpetual stress. This has been proven to be particularly problematic for night shift workers. However, this can impact anyone who has difficulties falling asleep or who wake up regularly throughout the night.
Working out can help you feel more tired and naturally relieve the pent-up stress you have acquired throughout the day. For best results, time your workouts at least two to three hours before bedtime to give your body time to wind down and prepare for bed.
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Exercise Tends To Focus Your Mind On One Thing Instead Of Everyday Stressors
As we exercise, our brain will shift more and more focus onto that particular activity. Even if it’s subconscious, such as placing one foot in front of the other or taking another breath, your mind will gradually focus mostly on the activity you’re doing. This is more likely the higher the intensity of the exercise, as you may need to concentrate on the specific movements you’re doing.
Tip : Support Your Health With Exercise And Nutrition
When youre overly focused on work, its easy to neglect your physical health. But when youre supporting your health with good nutrition and exercise, youre stronger and more resilient to stress.
Taking care of yourself doesnt require a total lifestyle overhaul. Even small things can lift your mood, increase your energy, and make you feel like youre back in the drivers seat.
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Provide Greater Flexibility And Give Employees More Control
We frequently tout flexibility as a must-have workplace benefit for employers that want to stay competitive. Its cited over and over again among the top qualities candidates are looking for in a workplace, and if you dont have it, it can be a make-or-break-factor for your top talent picks.
The importance of flexibility right now, however, cant be understated. Working from home is a given, but that alone doesnt necessarily make things any more flexible for employees who are used to coming into the office. What flexibility means for your company right now will depend on your industry, financial situation, and the logistics of the work you do, but it could come in the form of reduced hours, non-standard work hours , more flexibility with deadlines and even more flexible leave-of-absence policies.
Employees also feel less stressed when they have more control. Remember the study we cited earlier about lack of control being one of the biggest workplace stress factors? You can facilitate a sense of employee ownership over their time and projects by giving them a wide berth to make decisions using their best judgement rather than seeking management approval for every little thing. Little gestures that give employees more control go a long way in this, like empowering them to flex their hours as they see fit without getting permission, so long as the work is getting done.
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The Mental And Emotional Benefits Of Exercise
There are various reasons to exercise, like staying healthy or losing weight. But did you know that exercise also helps your emotional and mental health? Exercise is a very powerful drug in that it does naturally what many scientists in the pharmaceutical world have been creating for decades. Below are some of the many benefits of the physiological return on exercise.
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Exercise Can Boost Mental Health
Along with mitigating the negative effects of chronic stress on the mind and body, habitual exercise can improve mental health. Many experts believe routine exercise is as powerful in treating anxiety and mood disorders as antidepressants.
Preliminary evidence suggests that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. But little work has focused on why that is. To determine how exercise might bring about its mental health benefits, some researchers are looking at possible links between exercise and brain chemicals associated with stress, anxiety and depression. One theory is that physical activity triggers a release of dopamine and serotonin, which can improve mood.
But there are other reasons exercise plays a crucial role in mental well-being.
For example, exercise can be particularly helpful for people who deal with anxiety and panic attacks. When you engage in strenuous physical activity, you’re essentially mimicking the responses that can come with anxiety, allowing you to learn how to manage these responses and not be overwhelmed by them in other situations.
For even more impact on your mental health, combine your exercise routine with other evidence-based practices, like or, reap the benefits of some good, old-fashioned fresh air and sunshine by taking a walk outdoors.
Can Working Out While High Help With The Gains
Cannabis and gains summary goes like this:
- By diminishing painful sensations, cannabis should help us go the extra mile and train harder, thus building more muscles. Ex-NFL offensive lineman Eben Britton suggests marijuana helps him perform better sets.
- Testosterone is an important hormone for muscle growth. Still, opinions differ on how cannabis and testosterone are connected, i.e., when/if it affects the hormone levels.
- Your focus may be distorted, which surely has a detrimental effect on the set.
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Reaping The Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise Is Easier Than You Think
You dont need to devote hours out of your busy day to train at the gym, sweat buckets, or run mile after monotonous mile to reap all the physical and mental health benefits of exercise. Just 30-minutes of moderate exercise five times a week is enough. And even that can be broken down into two 15-minute or even three 10-minute exercise sessions if thats easier.
Exercise Fuels The Brain’s Stress Buffers
Exposure to long-term stress can be toxic to in the body, even leading to medical concerns like high blood pressure and a weakened immune system, along with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression.
It may seem counterintuitive that exercise, a form of physical stress, can help the body manage general stress levels. But the right kind of stress can actually make the body more resilient. Research shows that while exercise initially spikes the stress response in the body, people experience lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine after bouts of physical activity.
So far, there’s little evidence for the popular theory that exercise causes a rush of endorphins. Rather, one line of research points to the less familiar neuromodulator norepinephrine, which may help the brain deal with stress more efficiently. Research in animals since the late 1980s has found that exercise increases brain concentrations of norepinephrine in brain regions involved in the body’s stress response.
Norepinephrine is particularly interesting to researchers because 50% of the brain’s supply is produced in the locus coeruleus, a brain area that connects most of the brain regions involved in emotional and stress responses. The chemical is thought to play a major role in modulating the action of other, more prevalent neurotransmitters that play a direct role in the stress response.
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What Exactly Is Cortisol
While cortisol has become demonized, it’s responsible for protecting your overall health and well-being. Made in the adrenal glands, cortisol is released to control the body’s blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, act as an anti-inflammatory, among other functions, according to the Society for Endocrinology.
Your levels of cortisol vary throughout the day but usually spike in the morning when you wake up, gradually falling throughout the day this is known as a diurnal rhythm, according to the Society for Endocrinology. Good sleep is crucial in regulating cortisol, as your diurnal rhythm reaches its lowest point around midnight, while you’re sleeping , according to a November 2015 review published in Sleep Science.
Although cortisol is a naturally occurring hormone that you need to stay healthy, too much cortisol can have a negative affect on the body. Typically referenced as the “stress hormone,” cortisol is often released when your body feels overly stressed or endangered, according to the Society for Endocrinology.
Consistently high levels of cortisol in the body can lead to health problems including anxiety, depression, digestive issues, sleep problems and weight gain, according to the Mayo Clinic. Chronic cortisol exposure may even be associated with obesity over time, according to a February 2017 study published in Obesity.
Read more:10 Weird Side Effects of Stress
Easy Ways To Move More That Dont Involve The Gym
Dont have a 30-minute block of time to dedicate to yoga or a bike ride? Dont worry. Think about physical activity as a lifestyle rather than just a single task to check off your to-do list. Look at your daily routine and consider ways to sneak in activity here, there, and everywhere.
< Move in and around your home. Clean the house, wash the car, tend to the yard and garden, mow the lawn with a push mower, sweep the sidewalk or patio with a broom.
Sneak activity in at work or on the go. Bike or walk to an appointment rather than drive, use stairs instead of elevators, briskly walk to the bus stop then get off one stop early, park at the back of the lot and walk into the store or office, or take a vigorous walk during your coffee break.
Get active with the family. Jog around the soccer field during your kids practice, make a neighborhood bike ride part of your weekend routine, play tag with your children in the yard, go canoeing at a lake, walk the dog in a new place.
Get creative with exercise ideas. Pick fruit at an orchard, boogie to music, go to the beach or take a hike, gently stretch while watching television, organize an office bowling team, take a class in martial arts, dance, or yoga.
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What Are 5 Emotional Signs Of Stress
What are the warning signs and symptoms of emotional stress? Heaviness in your chest, increased heart rate or chest pain. Shoulder, neck or back pain general body aches and pains. Headaches. Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. Shortness of breath. Dizziness. Feeling tired, anxious, depressed.
Strategies To Prevent Employee Burnout
Research into burnout in the workplace recognizes employee wellbeing through four dimensions :
- Work satisfaction
- Employer care
- Worklife integration
Balancing all four factors is essential to overall employee wellbeing and reduces the likelihood of long-term and ultimately overwhelming pressure.
The following strategies can help find that balance and protect against burnout .
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Employees Should Be Able To Conveniently Change Work Hours When Needed
Allowing employees to have some control over their work schedule will manage stress levels. A worker with schedule flexibility is better able to find work/life balance, and is generally happier, more productive and more engaged at work.
For example, if an employee can choose when to start and finish work, they can be available for family needs, arrange to miss peak rush hour traffic, create time for exercise, etc.
Do This: Consider the use of flextime or other alternative work schedules such as part time, staggered hours, job sharing, shift working, and even telecommuting. These policies allow employees to manage stressful factors in all parts of their life.
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How Exercise Reduces Stress
Aerobic exercise is key for your head, just as it is for your heart. You may not agree at first indeed, the first steps are the hardest, and in the beginning, exercise will be more work than fun. But as you get into shape, you’ll begin to tolerate exercise, then enjoy it, and finally depend on it.
Regular aerobic exercise will bring remarkable changes to your body, your metabolism, your heart, and your spirits. It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress. It’s a common experience among endurance athletes and has been verified in clinical trials that have successfully used exercise to treat anxiety disorders and clinical depression. If athletes and patients can derive psychological benefits from exercise, so can you.
How can exercise contend with problems as difficult as anxiety and depression? There are several explanations, some chemical, others behavioral.
The mental benefits of aerobic exercise have a neurochemical basis. Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Endorphins are responsible for the “runner’s high” and for the feelings of relaxation and optimism that accompany many hard workouts or, at least, the hot shower after your exercise is over.
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All Of Us Need To Learn How To Cope With Stress And Learn How To Reduce Stress In The Workplace In This Article Not Only Will We Be Considering The Different Cause Of Stress We Will Also Help You And Your Managers On How They Can Help Reduce Stress In The Workplace And Support Your Employees
As a great manager, you can reduce stress in the workplace by creating a healthy workplace environment. A healthy workplace environment is ideal when it comes to maintaining a positive outcome in a stressful atmosphere. As mentioned in one of our previous post Creating a Healthy Workplace Environment, a healthy workplace environment is good for your company as it could lead to bringing sales for the business.
Heres How Exercise Reduces Anxiety And Makes You Feel More Connected
We all know exercise makes your body healthier and helps you live longer. A growing body of research shows exercise is also linked to a wide range of mood-based and social benefits.
People who are physically active are happier and more satisfied with their lives. They have a stronger sense of purpose, feel more gratitude, are more connected to their communities, and are less likely to be lonely or anxious.
Why? A big part has to do with how being active affects the brain. Here are five surprising ways exercise is good for your mind.
The exercise high primes you to connect with others
While typically described as a runners high, an exercise-induced mood boost is not exclusive to running. Similar good feelings can be found in any sustained physical activity, such as yoga, swimming and dancing.
Scientists long speculated that endorphins are behind the high, but research shows the high is linked to another class of brain chemicals: endocannabinoids what neuroscientists describe as the dont worry, be happy chemical. Endocannabinoids reduce anxiety and induce a state of contentment. These brain chemicals also increase dopamine in the brains reward system, which fuels feelings of optimism.
Another study shows that on days when people exercise, they experience more positive interactions with friends and family. As one runner said to me, My family will sometimes send me out running, as they know that I will come back a much better person.
Exercise makes you brave
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Autoregulation Exercise And Stress Relief
Regular physical activity keeps you healthy as it reduces stress. But another special sort of exercise known as autoregulation exercises can also reduce stress.
Stress comes in many forms and produces many symptoms. Mental symptoms range from worry and irritability to restlessness and insomnia, anger and hostility, or sensations of dread, foreboding, and even panic.
Mental stress can also produce physical symptoms. Muscles are tense, resulting in fidgetiness, taut facial expressions, headaches, or neck and back pain. The mouth is dry, producing unquenchable thirst or perhaps the sensation of a lump in the throat that makes swallowing difficult. Clenched jaw muscles can produce jaw pain and headaches. The skin can be pale, sweaty, and clammy. Intestinal symptoms range from “butterflies” to heartburn, cramps, or diarrhea. Frequent urination may be a bother. A pounding pulse is common, as is chest tightness. Rapid breathing is also typical, and may be accompanied by sighing or repetitive coughing. In extreme cases, hyperventilation can lead to tingling of the face and fingers, muscle cramps, lightheadedness, and even fainting.
The physical symptoms of stress are themselves distressing. In fact, the body’s response to stress can feel so bad that it produces additional mental stress. During the stress response, then, mind and body can amplify each other’s distress signals, creating a vicious cycle of tension and anxiety.